eSwatini-Albino-Pageant

eSwatini: 20 line up for first-ever Albinism beauty pageant

APA-Mbabane (eSwatini)

About 20 eSwatini beauty queens and kings living with albinism will take part in the first edition of Mr/Miss Albinism beauty pageant aimed at raising awareness about the condition.

Beauty pageant coordinator Catrien Potgieter said preparations have commenced for the contest, which is scheduled for August 10 in Mbabane.

The eSwatini National Council of Arts and Culture (ENCAC) described this as an opportunity for people living with albinism to build their confidence, learn about human rights in general and also raise awareness about issues that are affecting them.

“The ENCAC will give the contestants all the support, including cultural orientation to ensure they appropriately represent eSwatini even at international competitions as the first one will be the regional pageant scheduled for October 10, 2019 in Zimbabwe,” said ENCAC chief executive Stanley Dlamini.

He said the contestants will also share experiences with their counterparts from other countries and get knowledge on how to solve challenges they are faced with and even equip themselves with skills on how to start income-generating businesses.

In eSwatini, people living with albinism have in recent years fallen victim of cultural beliefs that their body parts, when mixed with certain concoctions, can bring luck and fortune. They have therefore been targeted by ritual murderers.

In 2010 the police set up a national register of albinos in order to keep track of their whereabouts. This was after a horrific killing of an 11-year-old albino girl whose body was mutilated.

This also prompted the formation of the Swaziland Association of Persons with Albinism, which started sensitizing people and dispelling all myths around this condition.

So far the association has secured support from international donors who fund the basic needs of people living with albinism such as sunscreen, hats and eyeglasses.

BM/jn/APA

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